To the average broadband user terms like 'dial-up,' 'ADSL,' or 'ADSL2+,' simply mean an advancement in online technology. They feel the latest development must be the best so that's what they'll go for, if its available. This is probably a good way to go about making such a choice as the latest technology in broadband delivery, ADSL2+, is indeed a world away from the original dial-up internet connection. So far removed that if you were to revert to dial-up today after using ADSL, or ADSL2+, you would not recognise the former as being enjoyable in any sense of the word.
Most of us cut our teeth on dial-up internet, although, if you're young enough to have not had this experience, you are all the better for it. It was slow, and the connection continuously dropped out, nor could you use a telephone while online. Usually when you were part way through a project and hadn't saved what you had already completed, was the time when somebody would ring, causing you to lose everything. ADSL2+ broadband users of today are fed a diet of fast downloading and uploading capacity without ever having experienced one single drop out in their entire lives. Speed is the essence in everything we now do and online connections are but one of these expectations. ADSL2+ delivers on this front.
How an ADSL2+ Broadband Connection Works
ADSL2+ is simply a technological advancement of ADSL. In order for your computer to be able to connect to broadband internet you need what is termed a DSL or 'digital subscriber line.' This digital subscriber line runs from your computer to your local telephone exchange. To do this it uses the same copper wire as that used by your landline telephone. ADSL2+ is the fastest connection available at the present time that uses the copper telephone wire for its connection. Because of its speed it is particularly useful for business, multi-media users and gamers. It is particularly sought after by people who require fast downloading speeds in order to better stream movies and music.
Some of the Most Important Benefits ADSL2+ has Over ADSL:
- There is no way you can lose out by choosing ADSL2+ over ADSL as you get everything ADSL gives plus more. Your connection is constantly on and it's ready waiting for you whenever you sit down at your computer. It continues to work despite sharing the same line with a number of telephones.
- The super-fast downloading and uploading speeds. This is the most outstanding reason for choosing ADSL2+ over ADSL. Speed is everything and with the speed comes reliability. Downloading speeds of 24mbps means you get an instant response when you click on a website. YouTube for instance is total quality as are big music tracks.
- Signal quality and reliability. Where you might experience a slowing of speed with an ADSL connection when you are located more than five kilometres from your local telephone exchange, you will have no such trouble with ADSL2+. You will now get a quality connection much further out than previously thought possible.
Reasons for Upgrading to ADSL2+
ADSL2+ has been a part of the Australian broadband scene for some time now and more and more telephone exchanges have been upgraded around the country in order to accommodate the demand. As soon as your local exchange is upgraded you should take advantage of the improved technological development and move forward to an ADSL2+ plan with your internet service provider (ISP), if it a faster more reliable broadband connection you are seeking. The following information should help you in making this decision:
- If it is speed you are looking for then there is no difficulty in determining what choice you should make. Speed is the biggest reason you will have for changing your plan from ADSL to ADSL2+. ADSL2+ is actually 72 times faster than ADSL. You can liken this to a horse and cart and a Ferrari. When you think about it that way do you really think you have a choice?
- Price, a component that has to always be taken into consideration. However when you compare an ADSL2+ broadband internet plan with an ADSL plan there is actually not that much of a difference. If you won't be downloading large files you can get a plan at a quite low price. You will pay more for a plan with larger data downloading capacity, but after all that is the price you pay for convenience. If the price worries you, you can look at discarding your landline telephone (thereby saving on phone rental costs) and changing to a naked ADSL2+ plan. The benefit here is that you can send and receive your telephone calls through VoIP via your broadband connection which is near free for both national and local calls.
- Make certain you have adequate data downloading limits. Many people make the mistake of purchasing an ADSL2+ plan on price alone and finish up having a too low a data downloading and uploading capacity. If you have a plan that has a too low a gigabyte capacity you'll find you won't be able handle those large files, movies, or music tracks you were looking forward to because you will eat up all of your quota. If this happens your plan will most likely revert to a very slow download speed therefore negating the whole exercise. You are far better off having data download capacity to spare each month rather than running out midway through the month.
- You can use your contract length to lower your price. This may seem a little artificial but it can be effective. The shorter the plan the more expensive it is for the same amount of data downloading capacity. This is because it has to be paid for sooner. If your cash flow situation is a bit tight a two year plan might suit you better than a 12 month plan. You might even get yourself a free modem to boot.
- Your location will have more to do with your decision to change to an ADSL2+ plan than you think. Where you might not have been able to receive an ADSL signal previously because you were too far from your local telephone exchange, it could be a quite different situation now. You don't want to use that knowledge to stop you enquiring about changing over to a superior ADSL2+ plan. The faster ADSL2+ signal can go much further than the slower ADSL signal and where you failed last time you might be quite surprised this time around. Your local exchange could now be updated.
- Consider taking any extras that are on offer. You can save yourself a lot of money by taking advantage of a free modem that comes with many ADSL2+ plans. Some providers offer free technical support. Others free VoIP telephone calls, especially when changing to a naked ADSL2+ plan. Seek out what suits your situation best and go for it. You have nothing to lose and will finish up with a much faster internet broadband speed.
- Don't jump in and grab the first ADSL2+ broadband internet plan that's offered. You will often find a bundle where your landline is included is much cheaper than a standalone plan. The difference in price can give you a much larger gigabyte downloading capacity. Or you could simply pocket the difference as a savings.
- Find an ISP who has built themselves a good reputation over time. Don't allow yourself to be influenced by cheap prices which often translate as poor service. Do your research, and read the numerous forums you'll find online before making your decision on which provider to use to purchase your ADSL2+ plan from. Be careful when offered an unlimited amount of data downloading. Unlimited is often another word used by providers instead of saying 'shaping.' Shaping is when your download speed is slowed after you've reached you data downloading quota for the month. The slowed speed is often that much it becomes useless.
ADSL2+ is now Widely Available
ADSL2+ broadband technology is becoming more widely available in Australia as ISPs expand their coverage areas. All Australian cities and most regional areas are now covered and more and more exchanges are being upgraded from ADSL in rural areas each week. All the major ISP's now offer ADSL2+ but availability is still restricted in some areas because of the following:
- The quality of the copper wire between your house and the telephone exchange.
- The number of services using your line at any one time.
- The distance from your local telephone exchange (although this has been extended considerably from the previous ADSL limitations).
None of these restrictions will bother you if you live in a city, its suburbs, or in any of the major regional areas but it will still pay you to check with your ISP if you are located in a rural area. If you are outside an ISP’s coverage area for ADSL2+ and it appears no upgrade is to take place there for some time, you should look at obtaining the NBN satellite coverage. This is now available Australia wide and very fast downloading speeds are being experienced. Broadband users today are demanding instant responses from their broadband connections and this is what ADSL2+ is delivering. Social media has become a part of everyday living as too has the use of online games, YouTube and videos. There is no reason for missing out on these opportunities and with the National Broadband Network (NBN) midway through its roll out program more and more rural people are now able to enjoy broadband speeds that surpass that of ADSL2+ in the cities.
What is the New Language all About
With ground breaking modern technology comes a whole new glossary of terms that were totally unknown to us only a few years ago. This will no doubt grow even further as new developments in the technology expands further. Terms that will help you understand what is taking place today that are in common use now are:
- Actual speed. This term is important because the speeds quoted in your ADSL2+ plans are not usually the speeds you will obtain at home. For instance you might be quoted that speeds of 8Mbps can be expected. In actual fact speeds of 8Mbps are unusual unless you are living in the actual exchange itself. It would be more likely that the speed you will actually experience will be more in the order of 2Mbps and this will be subjected to your distance from the exchange, the type of modem you have, the condition of your computer, your ISP and how busy your line is.
- Available speed. Home ADSL2+ broadband can be delivered at speeds ranging from 8mbps to 100Mbps but this will depend on how many people are connected to the line at any one time. You might have a PC in the study, one in each of the kids’ bedrooms, and another in the living room, all downloading different amounts of data at the one time. As you increase your speed to compensate for all this usage so too will the plan price. When the NBN fibre optic roll out is completed in a few years time speeds of from 120Mbps to 200Mbps will not be unusual.
- How to distinguish between bytes and bits. Internet broadband speed is measured in megabits per second (Mbps) or (Mb). The size of a file to be downloaded is measured as megabytes (MB), the larger files are measured as gigabytes (GB). Eight bits make a byte, therefore an 8Mbps download speed is the same as saying 1MB per second. Pictures and music is usually spoken of as being in MB (megabytes) where Mb is used to describe broadband speeds. You may notice some speeds written as kilobits per second, kb/s, Kbps, or kbit/s. There is no hard and fast rule but they all mean the same.
- Speeds used in different ADSL2+ plans. You will find the download speed of any plan takes pride of place on your ISPs website. They often write them as two speeds e.g. 9,900/1228Kbps. This means the download speed is 9,900Kbps and the upload speed is 1228Kbps. Most plans will give a faster download speed than an upload speed because most people do less uploading than downloading. This gap is tightening however as VoIP and social media sites become more popular.
Choosing the Right Internet Speed to Best Suit Your Needs
ADSL2+ internet is all about speed both upload and download and it therefore stands to reason that you should look towards buying the fastest plan available. However, this is not necessarily true. The reason for this is the faster the speed obtainable the more you will have to pay for the plan and it doesn't make economical sense if you have the fastest connection in town when you only download your email each morning and dabble a little on Facebook. To take advantage of a faster connection you may also need an upgraded modem, not to mention a new computer if yours is any more than two or three years old. How then do you determine what broadband speed should you be looking for? Here are a few things for you to consider:
- At what times will you mainly be using your broadband connection? If you mainly use the internet during peak usage periods, such as in the evenings and at weekends, you would benefit from having a faster connection to help you overcome any congestion on the line.
- Your distance from the telephone exchange? It will pay you to contact your ISP to find out if you could benefit from a faster broadband connection considering the locality you are either working or living in before you take on any new ADSL2+ plan.
- Do you consider yourself a heavy internet user? If so give thought to obtaining a plan that'll give you from six to eight Mbps download speeds. Websites with heavy content will download quite easily at these speeds. You will also experience fast responses when gaming. However, don't accept the speed advertised in any particular plan, as these aren't always the speeds you will actually achieve. Ask your ISP directly what speed you could honestly expect from their plan in your particular locality. You can consider yourself a heavy internet user if you spend more than five hours each day online. Especially if a lot of that time is taken up downloading songs and movies or streaming TV shows. Heavy internet users are people who spend a lot of time playing online games as well as people heavily into social media, particularly the ones who do a lot of uploading and downloading of data.
- Do you rate yourself as an average internet user? An average internet user is a person who checks and sends out emails daily, browses a number of websites, downloads music and uploads pictures onto social media sites on a regular basis. If this sounds like you, you could get away with a plan allowing for speeds of around one or two Mbps. These speeds will be sufficient for your average day to day requirements. With these speeds you will comfortably be able to download songs in no more than 1.5 minutes and load a web page in 0.8 seconds. Viewing online videos will be a breeze as will the using of VoIP and file sharing.